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Brown Butter-Pecan Ice Cream

Creamy, dreamy, buttery....delicious!


Ever wonder why homemade ice cream forms ice crystals on top of it when it is placed inside the freezer?

Well, it turns out there is a scientific reason for this....and I won't go into that right now, but trust me when I say it is the sugar in this recipe that keeps it from forming ice crystals in the freezer!  Seriously. :)



16 oz heavy whipping cream

4 cups whole milk

2 sticks butter (do not substitute margarine)

3 cups sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 cup toasted pecans - chopped

  1. Place the pecans on a baking sheet. Toast on 350 degrees for about 5-7 minutes or until you begin to smell them.  When you smell them toasting, they are done!  Remove from the oven and cool.

  2. In a saucepan on medium-medium high heat, melt the butter.  Cook the butter until it turns an amber color.  This takes a few minutes after it forms a foam on top.  Don't leave this unattended.  You can swirl it around in the pan a few times during the cooking process, but it is not necessary to continue stirring it.  When it is an amber color and has taken on a nutty aroma, remove it from the heat and cool to room temperature.

  3. In a mixing bowl, use electric mixer to beat the heavy cream until it has stiff peaks.  (Basically, it will have a texture a tiny bit firmer than cool whip.)  Set aside.

  4. In a separate large mixing bowl, combine the milk, sugar, and vanilla.  Stir until the sugar has dissolved.  Add the brown butter and stir well.

  5. It is necessary at this point to use a blender to emulsify the ingredients.  By not doing so, the ice cream will have a gritty texture due to the brown butter.  Using the blender, emulsify the mixture.  You may need to do this in batches if your blender is not large enough. 

  6. In a large bowl, slowly add emulsified milk mixture to the heavy cream and stir until well combined. Fold in toasted pecans.

  7. Pour this mixture into your ice cream churn freezer bowl/canister.

  8. Follow the directions on your churn to finish making the ice cream.  NOTE:  If you don't have a churn, you may place the mixture in your freezer and stir every hour for the first few hours, then allow it time overnight to freeze completely.

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